Tributee: Fleetwood Mac.
Personnel: Doug Munro (guitar, banjo, mandolin, percussion); Paul Tobias , Tom Tally, David Keen (violin, viola); David Davidson (violin); Rodd Rubenstein, Guenevere Measham, Richard Dodd, Claire Stancarone (cello); Jeramie Brown (percussion).
It's a little surprising that Fleetwood Mac wasn't at the top of Vitamin's to-do list when the label first began issuing its pop-classical tribute albums. As the String Quartet Tribute to Fleetwood Mac proves, the combo's melodies and punchy pop rhythms are perfectly suited to a setup featuring violin, viola, bass, and cello. "Second Hand News" and "Don't Stop" are as propulsive as their originals, while "Go Your Own Way" and "Gold Dust Woman" ring with resounding melody. The faint bluegrass tinge and additional mandolin that floats through "Landslide" seems to take its cue more from the Dixie Chicks' cover of the song than the original, but it's still a pleasant ride. Likewise, "Rhiannon" was always one of Mac's more bombastic tunes, but here it's saved by a sassy violin in the verses. This tribute should be a worthy curiosity next to anyone's Fleetwood Mac collection, and might even offer some new angles on one of rock's most memorable (or overplayed) catalogs. ~ Johnny Loftus